Europa League glory or Premier League safety?

Is the Europa League a priority now?
Is the Europa League a priority now?
With the Europa League set to resume this Thursday I’m left wondering just how much of a priority our participation in the competition should be?

Which is a shame after the team worked so hard to achieve qualification for Europe last season, but at the end of the day circumstances dictate and our Premier League circumstance is still not assured for next season.

Generally speaking we’ve made the knockout stages of the Europa League pretty much hassle free using a mixture of youth and reserve players to help us through the group stage. Now we’re in the knockout format though will our approach change and will we see a stronger side? Or will we continue playing the youth and reserve players who have done well enough so far?

Of course we’ve added to the squad since the last time we played in Europe although unfortunately not all of our new additions are eligible to play in the competition. Yoan Gouffran, injury aside, is cup-tied as he’s already played in the competition whilst only one of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Mathieu Debuchy are allowed to be named in our squad for Europe owing to their Champions League participation earlier on in the season with Motpellier and Lille respectively and it was Mbiwa who got the nod. The other two new guys, Moussa Sissoko and Massadio Haidara, along with Mbiwa, make up the three new additions to our Europa League squad.

So just how strong do we go? The only certainty for me is that Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will make his full home debut. Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor have made it hard for the former Montpellier man to come straight into the side domestically so it seems highly likely he’ll get the nod on Thursday to give him some match practice and a chance to showcase his skills and perhaps even stake a claim for a place in the side domestically.


Another player who could feature is Cheik Tiote who had to make do with a place on the bench against Spurs at the weekend. He could line up with Vurnon Anita in midfield meaning that Yohan Cabaye gets a rest. Sylvain Marveaux could come into an attacking midfield role after finding himself, harshly in my opinion, on the bench recently. Massadio Haidara could also make a debut at left-back giving Davide Santon a rest or in the event that he moves to the right-back spot in the absence of Debuchy and Danny Simpson.

We could actually name a pretty strong side whilst at the same time protecting some of our most important players. The side I’ve started drafting above wouldn’t involve players like Yohan Cabaye or Moussa Sissoko ensuring they were kept back for domestic purposes, but it still looks pretty good on paper to start with.

The whole underlying tone behind this article is about protecting the players and keeping them fresh for Premier League duty. Granted we have no league game at the weekend which makes it a bit easier to do so technically I guess we could name a pretty much full-strength side and only have to worry about the risk of injury, but with ten days after the home fixture before we face Southampton it would have to be an injury we worry about and not a simple knock for example.

My point being, and I’ve read it from a few people now, is that it’s all well and good saying we should “attack” the Europa League but it worth attacking so much that we risk losing players that would help us secure Premier League safety? After all, that is the most important thing for this season isn’t it?

What do you think?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

117 thoughts on “Europa League glory or Premier League safety?

  1. ANDY i just cannot understand how there were no pens given the fouling in the box was the worse i have ever seen,sumit got to be done about it imo,thought i was a dirty git in my day but that was un-real 😯

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  2. Nah Kim just SKY, my dad doesn’t see the point as its a lot of money for only watching NUFC games which are shown once every couple of months anyway.

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  3. Ice
    Celtic fans were livid, if it had happened to Man U there would be inquiries and probably a ‘SKY Special Report’ on corrupt refs πŸ™„ .

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  4. Andy ,I got Virgin so get it free with the extra large package .Used to be with sky but they’re a bunch of ****s when stuff breaks and charge loads .Virgin cover most repairs as long as you didn’t break it. πŸ˜‰

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  5. KIM aye it was a canny game,sumit got to be done over the ref as andy said,mind did bring back memorys of how it used to be πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

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  6. Kim
    My dad decided we should upgrade our current sky package to get sky+hd so we got a whole new deal, broadband and tv (all channels except the ones you pay individually for ie espn).
    Was the Celtic game on ITV down south?

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  7. ANDY game is for sissys now πŸ˜€ spoiled my days when they started checking the studs on boots,some used to file a couple of them to a nice point,i only filed mine to get better grip like nowt else πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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  8. Glory *and* safety.

    Which means playing a strong team against the heavy metals. Unfortunately, anything without Sissoko, Gouffran, Taylor and Cabaye in it has shown itself to be crap. If these guys don’t play, we could struggle

    However, it does seem a good opportunity to give Y-M, Marveaux, Anita, Obertan and Simpson some game time.

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  9. Ice @87 , When you see poor referee to the degree you and Andy have pointed out it makes you wonder if they been paid off ,especially with the latest match fixing stuff to break in the news like. It beggers belief some of the incompetence in refs nowadays. Many can’t even make the most basic calls correctly .

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  10. [email protected] you have a good point there,if fact i was on the jury i would find him guilty,eye-sight in it,if fact he should go to spec-savers to try and get out of it

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  11. Kim
    Is that supposed to be a slate on Scottish weather 😑 ? Cus your right it’s shite up here πŸ˜† πŸ˜‰

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  12. I think whe should Give 100% In the Europa Cup! We have a Strong Squad at the moment an put players like Anita, Mapou Ain’t a problem for! Thursday I would have put a very Strong line up:
    Krul or Elliot
    Santon Mapou Colo Haidara
    Anita TiotΓ©
    Obertan Sissoko Jonas or Shane Fergie
    CissΓ©
    Bench: Elliot or Krul- Willo Perch Bigi Fergie Campbell Shola

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  13. Oh I forgot Marveaux, I would put that team:
    Krul
    Santon Mapou Colo Haidara
    Anita TiotΓ©
    Marveaux Sissoko Obertan
    CissΓ©

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  14. We’ll lose this one… no doubt. Does any one want to argue this point wth me? Bring It…. πŸ™‚

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  15. Santi πŸ™‚ By scoring less goals than the metal heads πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ your serve πŸ™‚

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  16. Santii, thanks for joining in, I had a long day at work and just needed to argue with someone πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  17. I dont think we will get anything from our last 4 league games, so we need those 4 wins in Feb and March. therefore the last thing we need is another couple of 2 legged EL games thrown in at the same time, not bothered if we get tonked in these next 2 games. Prem is all that matters…. side tomorrow

    …………………………………. Harper………………………….
    Simpson…………..Tavernier…….Williamson……..haidara
    ………………………….Bigi…………….Perch………………………
    …………… Obertan………..Amalfitano……………..Marveaux………
    …………………………………. Shola…………………………………..

    no injuries to our purples please πŸ˜†

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